.....One of my favorite parts of helping my grandma decorate for Christmas was hanging the "kissing ball". It was a plastic sphere of mistletoe with a ribbon and a cloud of glitter that it released each year. Everyone agreed it was ugly, but it wouldn't be Christmas without the kissing ball in the doorway.
Well, this year, for my Potholder Pass Swap and my Trim the Tree Handmade Ornament Swap, I made a felt and ribbon mistletoe ornament to enjoy for the ages--minus the plastic and glitter.
How to Make it Yourself:
a small amount white/cream wool roving
fine gauge wire
green felt fabric
thread and needle
paper wrapped thicker floral wire
another ribbon for hanging
Step 1: (no photos) Take a small piece of natural wool roving, hold it in rough ball, wet it in warm water and dish soap, rub the wool in between your palms in soapy circles while compressing the wool in your hands. Check to see that your wool is making a spherical shape, keep pressing it and rubbing it in circles it until it is well-compressed and the shape you want. Rinse the soap out and squeeze the ball in a towel to dry it. Make 5 of them. Finish drying the "berries" overnight.
Step 2: Cut 5" of fine gauge wire. Fold and stick a piece of tape on front and back of wire. Trim tape to a rough leaf shape. Cut two matching leaf shapes out of felt. Hand stitch along the edge of the leaf leaving a 1" opening along one side. (Do not knot starting end of your thread. Leave a long tail and you'll use it to tie a knot when you finish the leaf) Tuck the taped wire inside, finish your hand stitching, then make a couple of stitches around the wire and tie the starting thread and ending thread together in a knot. Make 5 or 6 leaves.
Step 3: Thread a needle with cream thread. poke the needle through the white felt "berry", make only a tiny stitch at one end and go back through the felt ball with the needle.
Step 4: Cut a 7" section of thick wire and trim the end paper off.
Wind floral tape on the end of the wire until the sharp end is covered, place the berry threads where you want them and tape them on tightly. Tug on the threads as needed to get the berries snug to the thick wire. Once the berries are taped on securely, trim the extra thread off.
Keep winding the floral tape around until you get to the level where you want your first leaf. Bend the leaf wire at the base of the leaf to a 30˚ angle. Hold the leaf wire tightly to the big wire and wrap the floral tape around both wires. Then add your second leaf and wrap the floral tape tightly around that in the same manner.
Snip the extra leaf wire off. Then go a little further with the floral tape and add another berry. Keep wrapping the floral tape tightly and trim the berry thread when appropriate.
Continue in this manner until you add all of the leaves and berries that you want.
Step 5: Decide on the length of your stem and trim it with the wire snippers. Add a ribbon loop to the end of your stem (for hanging the mistletoe) and wrap that tightly with floral tape.
Step 6: Gently bend out the leaves from the stem since you will still need to add the ribbon wrap layer. Then bend your stick-straight stem ever so slightly in many directions to add a 3-D natural look.
Here is another angle to see how I positioned the berries and leaves all the way around the stem.
Step 5: Lastly, you need to secure your ribbon to the top end with floral tape. Wrap the ribbon tightly around the stem from top to bottom covering all of the floral tape and weaving around the leaves and berries.
One last bit of floral tape secures the ribbon at the stem end. Then bend your leaves with curves and position them how you like them.
Now hang it up and grab your sweetie for a smooch!